How to Plan the Perfect Deck for Your Garden


A little bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to creating a great looking deck. Putting your ideas down on paper will save you a lot of time and, potentially, money, and will ensure you get your dream deck.

Planning on paper first allows you to see if your ideas will work. It’s also much easier to change your mind and make adjustments on paper than it is during construction.

If the thought of plotting your deck onto paper seems like a daunting task, don’t worry; it’s actually much easier than you think.

It will give you the opportunity to make sure your deck works with the rest of your garden. You don’t want to build your masterpiece only to have it looking like it fell out the sky and landed in your garden!

Critical Deck Design Details to Get Right

It’s important to get the right shape, size and materials. The decking needs to be in proportion not only to your house but the rest of the garden. Too big or too small will always look wrong, no matter how hard you try to disguise it after it’s built.

Getting the right shape for your deck is one of the most critical parts of successful garden design. Shapes can create interest. They can make an area look and feel larger or smaller. It’s vital you choose a shape that enhances your home and garden and helps you get the most from your outside space. But avoid shapes that are too complicated.

Deck Design Software

To begin with, it’s better to grab a sheet of paper to try out your ideas. Resist the lure of the complex online design software. Useful as these free tools can be for working out the quantity of materials you will need, their prime purpose is often to help sell more decking and ancillary products like railings. So keep that in mind, as the software’s suggestions may not be the best design for your property.

Deck design software can often come up with unnecessarily complicated schemes. Complex designs can look good on the computer screen but in reality they don’t usually make the best use of the available space and will often make areas feel awkward. This is especially true if there are lots of unnecessary level changes and angles in the design. Good design is usually very simple in concept.

How to Incorporate Changes in Level in Your Deck

Changes of level need to be handled with particular care, as these will have an enormous impact on how you use your garden. A level change will create exciting opportunities to make a stunning use of the space.

Done correctly, a change in height from one part of your deck to the surrounding areas of garden will enable you to add interesting features like built-in seating, planting beds, lighting effects and water features.

The main thing to make sure you do with a level change is incorporate it in a way that flows naturally so that it is instinctive and easy to get from one area to another. You don’t want your friends and family tripping up on an unexpected level change.

Building on a Budget

It can cost virtually the same amount of money to build a well-designed deck that enhances your home, linking it beautifully with the rest of the garden to one that’s boring and badly designed. So plan carefully before you build.

Once you’ve planned the size and shape of deck you want, you will need to consider the cost of the building materials. There are many options available to you, from sustainable hardwoods to treated softwoods, reclaimed timbers and composite recycled materials. Research what’s available in your local area that works with your tastes, budget and design.

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes for more designer tips…

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